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Single Touch Payroll Basics

What is the Single Touch Payroll (STP) System?


The Single Touch Payroll system, or STP, is a reporting initiative from the ATO, which will require employers to report their employees’ payroll information to the ATO at the same time that wages are paid. This information includes things such as PAYG withholding, superannuation and salary information. These will all be directed to the ATO via the payroll software and will be updated every time an employee receives their wages.


On 12 February 2019, the Australian government passed the T

reasury Laws Amendment (2018 Measures No. 4) Bill 2018. The passage of this particular legislation means that the STP system will be officially expanded cover businesses of all size across Australia. This marks stage two of the introduction of STP. The first phase, which was implemented from 1 July 2018, required all businesses with 20 or more employees to begin reporting using the Single Touch Payroll system. The second phase has taken effect from 1 July 2019. This phase requires all businesses with 19 or less employees to integrate STP into their businesses.There are a few exceptions to this requirement, as outlined later in this guide. Recognising the fact that many microbusinesses (businesses with 1-4 employees) do not currently use digital payroll software, the ATO has devised special parameters for these businesses, so they will still be able to integrate themselves into the STP system but with minimal cost or disruption. This includes a list of low-cost STP options for micro-businesses, (no more than $10 per month). Some of these STP options for example Payroller are free.


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